747 episodes

The Twenty Minute VC takes you inside the world of Venture Capital, Startup Funding and The Pitch. Join our host, Harry Stebbings and discover how you can attain funding for your business by listening to what the most prominent investors are directly looking for in startups, providing easily actionable tips and tricks that can be put in place to increase your chances of getting funded. Although, you may not want to raise funding for a startup. The Twenty Minute VC also provides an instructional guide as to what it takes to get employed in the Venture Capital industry, with VCs giving specific advice on how to get noticed from the crowd and increasing your chances of employment. If that wasn't enough our amazing Venture Capitalists also provide their analysis of the current technology market, providing advice and suggestions on the latest investing trends and predictions. Join us so you can see how you can get BIG, powerful improvements, fast. Would you like to see more of The Twenty Minute VC, head on over to www.thetwentyminutevc.com for more information on the podcast, show notes, resources and a more detailed analysis of the technology and Venture Capital industry.

The Twenty Minute VC: Venture Capital | Startup Funding | The Pitc‪h‬ Harry Stebbings

    • Investing
    • 4.5 • 108 Ratings

The Twenty Minute VC takes you inside the world of Venture Capital, Startup Funding and The Pitch. Join our host, Harry Stebbings and discover how you can attain funding for your business by listening to what the most prominent investors are directly looking for in startups, providing easily actionable tips and tricks that can be put in place to increase your chances of getting funded. Although, you may not want to raise funding for a startup. The Twenty Minute VC also provides an instructional guide as to what it takes to get employed in the Venture Capital industry, with VCs giving specific advice on how to get noticed from the crowd and increasing your chances of employment. If that wasn't enough our amazing Venture Capitalists also provide their analysis of the current technology market, providing advice and suggestions on the latest investing trends and predictions. Join us so you can see how you can get BIG, powerful improvements, fast. Would you like to see more of The Twenty Minute VC, head on over to www.thetwentyminutevc.com for more information on the podcast, show notes, resources and a more detailed analysis of the technology and Venture Capital industry.

    20VC: Klarna Founder Sebastian Siemiatkowski on Scaling Europe's Most Valuable Private Tech Company, How To Motivate and Challenge Your Team Most Effectively & The Biggest Lessons From Working with Mike Moritz

    20VC: Klarna Founder Sebastian Siemiatkowski on Scaling Europe's Most Valuable Private Tech Company, How To Motivate and Challenge Your Team Most Effectively & The Biggest Lessons From Working with Mike Moritz

    Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the Founder and CEO @ Klarna, the company that makes online shopping simple, allowing you to buy what you need today and pay later. To date, Sebastian has raised over $2.1Bn for the company from the likes of Sequoia, Silver Lake, Blackrock, DST, Northzone, Creandum and even Snoop Dog to name a few. Klarna has been an incredible 16-year journey for Sebastian with it now being the most valuable private technology company in Europe with over 3,500 employees.

    In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:
    I. The Importance Of Learning To Learn Fast
    What is the best way to learn fast? 
    “People talk about it like there's this learning curve, and the best spot is at the place where you're challenged to the precise point where you're almost giving up, but not entirely. That's exactly it. 

    “And I have this amazing swim teacher for my children, her name is Petra, and she's just fantastic. I just love watching her because she has this ability of taking my children in the pool and pushing them to that exact point where they are almost, almost giving up, and they're learning at such a pace. And if I can recreate such an environment in Klarna, if I can create an environment, if I can be part of creating an environment where we put people in that position where they just are exactly at that curve where they are challenged, supported, and kind of at the edge and being given the ability to learn really fast and really discover what it means to have an impact.” 

    Does Sebastian compare his work to other companies’?
    “I don't think that much about what other people or other companies or other things out there could have done different. And there's pros and cons to that. But the benefits of that is that it speeds up my learning. Because a lot of people – and I've realized that as I manage other people – is that because they're so obsessed with trying to think about what other people could have done differently, and why situations arose, and why it wasn't their responsibility and so forth, they spend a lot of time on that, because we've unfortunately been brought up in some kind of guilt that it's bad to do wrong, and it's bad if it's our fault, and you want to avoid that. 

    “And these psychological constraints, unfortunately, hinder people from developing much faster, because if you go into every situation and say, the only thing that's relevant here is what I could have done differently, what I could have learned from this – if that's the only thing, it's just like, whatever, I accept my responsibilities. What could I have done differently? If you only focus on that, you just learn much faster.” 

    How does Sebastian transform his self-doubt into a positive?
    “I think self-doubt is not nothing. It's not a bad thing, right? It's a very healthy thing, if it represents you continuously trying to understand, am I doing the right thing? Is this something that I want to do? Am I making the right decisions? So I think it's extremely healthy to do that. I'm not saying it's not painful or tough when you have it. But I think it's a very positive thing. 

    “I'm much more worried when people tell me they have no self-doubt. And then I'm like, uh-oh, because that means that you're not really reflecting on your actions, and you're not learning from them. So I wish I could give you something more comforting than that, but I would actually say enjoy it. Be happy that you have it, and it's gonna make you a better person.” 

    II. Sebastian’s Management Philosophy
    What does Sebastian believe companies can learn from soccer? 
    “I love the fact that Michael Moritz wrote this book that I still haven't read, so it's kind of funny that I'm referring to it, but he wrote this book about Ferguson, that manager of Manchester United. And I think it's very relevant, because today

    • 37 min
    20VC: Sonos CEO Patrick Spence on His Biggest Lessons Building and Growing Blackberry, The Right Way to View Competition and Innovation Cycles & How To Make The Transition From COO To CEO Most Effectively

    20VC: Sonos CEO Patrick Spence on His Biggest Lessons Building and Growing Blackberry, The Right Way to View Competition and Innovation Cycles & How To Make The Transition From COO To CEO Most Effectively

    Patrick Spence is the CEO @ Sonos, the sound experience company connecting millions of listeners around the world to the content they want. Prior to their IPO, they raised over $450M from the likes of Mike Volpi @ Index, Satish @ Redpoint and e.ventures to name a few. As for Patrick, prior to Sonos, he spent an incredible 14 years with RIM (makers of Blackberry) across multiple different roles.
    In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

    1.) How Patrick made his way into the world of tech and startups and became an instrumental part of the exec team at Blackberry? How that led to his joining Sonos as COO and later becoming CEO?

    2.) How did building and growing RIM influence everything that Patrick does at Sonos? From the battle with Apple, what were Patrick's biggest lessons on the right way to approach competition? How does Patrick think about both partnering with Google today whilst also suing them at the same time?

    3.) From COO to CEO: How did Patrick make the transition from COO to CEO so successfully? What were the most challenging elements to scale into? How does Patrick empower his team to have the confidence to stand up and say no to the CEO? How can one encourage debate and dissent in the team?

    4.) How does Patrick feel about the role that vulnerability has to play in leadership? How does Patrick approach his own self-doubt as a leader today? How does he manage it? How does he advise founders unsure if they can scale into their leadership roles? What mentors does Patrick have? What has he learned from them?

    Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode

    Patrick’s Favourite Book: The Infinite Game: How Great Businesses Achieve Long-Lasting

    As always you can follow Harry and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here!

    Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

    • 36 min
    20VC: The Snapchat Memo: Lightspeed's Jeremy Liew on The 4 Key Elements To Consider When Evaluating A Consumer Social Product, What is Good/Great/World Class For Retention, Usage and Downloads in Consumer Social Today & The Core Insight Development of E

    20VC: The Snapchat Memo: Lightspeed's Jeremy Liew on The 4 Key Elements To Consider When Evaluating A Consumer Social Product, What is Good/Great/World Class For Retention, Usage and Downloads in Consumer Social Today & The Core Insight Development of E

    Jeremy Liew is a Partner @ Lightspeed Venture Partners, one of the leading firms of the last decade with a portfolio including the likes of Affirm, Snapchat (Snap), Mulesoft, Epic Games, Carta and more amazing companies. As for Jeremy, in the past he has led deals and sat on the boards of Snap, Affirm, Blockchain.com and The Honest Company to name a few. Before Lightspeed, Jeremy was with AOL, first as SVP of corporate development and chief of staff to the CEO, and then as general manager of Netscape. Due to his incredible investing success, Jeremy has been featured on the Forbes Midas List multiple times.

    In Today’s Episode We Dissect The Snapchat Memo:
    I. How Jeremey first learned of Snapchat
    How Jeremy Liew first heard about Evan Spiegel and Snapchat?

    "It's actually kind of a roundabout story. We first heard about Snapchat, because one of my partners Barry Eggers is a very involved dad. And he noticed that his daughter had started taking weird selfies"

    What was the process to first get in touch with Evan?

    "The challenge was, the website only had info at Snapchat email address was the only info The only contact info available. So I emailed them, and I never heard back.

    Why was it such a challenge?

    "I then looked up Snapchat on LinkedIn, and I couldn't find any contact information. And I was in a little bit of a loss, I wasn't getting any responses from the email, there was nothing listed on LinkedIn. So I ended up doing a who is look-up to try to find out who had registered the Snapchat URL, and I got an info@ snapgrouplimited email. So I emailed that. And then as again, I didn't get any response.

    What was the breakthrough in the end?

    "....Finally, what I decided to do was since Evan was a student at Stanford, and since I graduated from Stanford for business school, at that time, Facebook allowed you to message people who were in the same network, and Stanford constituted that. So I messaged him through Facebook, and I finally got a response. But this time, I got a response within five minutes."

    II. The Analysis Of Snapchat's Early Market
    What are the 4 things Jeremy looks for when making an investment in consumer?

    Can this become part of pop culture? Does this create new habits? Is there a scalable way to grow? Does the founder have a unique insight that explains the success?
    Why does Jeremy believe that usage with young females is the biggest predictor of future consumer social success?

    "Generalising, Women build their relationships through, you know, conversations, and they build those relationships through sharing information with each other. And obviously, that sort of conversation or relationship is a fantastic conduit for word of mouth for anything that people really appreciate."

    In what ways does Jeremy like to see consumer social companies become part of pop culture?

    "Today, if you think about whether it be social networking, apps, messaging, e commerce, streaming media, it's all part of pop culture. And so as much as movies or television or music or dance, and so if you ask yourself who are the early adopters of pop culture"

    What are examples of this?

    "Social networking, apps, messaging, e commerce, streaming media, it's all part of pop culture."

    Did the market evolve the way that Jeremy thought it would?

    "And one of the things that surprised us a little bit was that this was very strong in Southern California, Northern California, and Georgia, when we first invested and parts of the South"

    What was a surprise to Jeremy Liew in terms of market evolution?

    "In Norway, which had actually transcended, that sort of high school and college-age population, in fact, become the number three most downloaded app, most popular app, in Norway at that time. So ahead of Instagram, ahead of Facebook, and so forth. And so that's what I t

    • 40 min
    20VC: Okta CEO Todd McKinnon on How To Approach Effective Decision-Making in Leadership, When Is The Right Time To Hire Recruiters and Heads of People, Balancing the Expectations of Wall St with Long Term Vision and What Truly Successful Board Managemen

    20VC: Okta CEO Todd McKinnon on How To Approach Effective Decision-Making in Leadership, When Is The Right Time To Hire Recruiters and Heads of People, Balancing the Expectations of Wall St with Long Term Vision and What Truly Successful Board Managemen

    Todd McKinnon is the Co-Founder & CEO @ Okta, the identity layer for the internet, providing one trusted platform to secure every identity, from customers to your workforce. Prior to their IPO in 2017, Todd raised over $229M for the company from some of the best in the business including Sequoia, a16z, Greylock, Khosla and Floodgate to name a few. Prior to founding Okta, Todd was VP of Development @ Salesforce.com where he spent an incredible 5 years and before that enjoyed an 8 year run in the software development team @ PeopleSoft.

    In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:
    1.) How Todd made his way into the world of startups with PeopleSoft and Salesforce? What was the a-ha moment for Todd with the founding of Okta? What were the biggest management takeaways from his time with PeopleSoft and Okta? How did Todd convince his wife that leaving a safe job with Salesforce to found a company was the right decision?

    2.) How does Todd approach decision-making today? What frameworks does he use to optimise his decisions? How does Todd analyse reversible vs irreversible decisions? How does Todd know when he has done enough work and is ready to make the decision? Who does he debate the most important decisions with?

    3.) What does Todd believe makes for a truly great enterprise software entrepreneur today? What were the first elements to break in the scaling of Okta? When is the right time to hire your first recruiters and Head of People? What should you look for in those people? How did Todd make mistakes when it comes to hiring recruiters?

    4.) What are Todd's biggest lessons on successful board management? How would Todd describe his style of board management? How has it changed over the years? What can CEOs do to extract the most value from their board? What were the biggest mistakes Todd made in the early interactions with his board?

    5.) How does Todd balance the growth expectations of Wall St on a quarter by quarter basis with the long term vision and strategy? Why does Todd believe that Okta has been able to make the transition from unsexy to one of Wall St's most loved companies? What is the secret to investor relations as a public company?

    Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode

    Todd’s Favourite Book: Slaughterhouse 5

    As always you can follow Harry and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here!

    Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

    • 41 min
    20VC Special: The Real Estate Fintech OGs on Why This Is Not The End For The Bay Area and What Can Be Done To Solve It, The Pros and Cons of Working with Corporate Investors and How Leading Their Teams Has Fundamentally Changed in a COVID World

    20VC Special: The Real Estate Fintech OGs on Why This Is Not The End For The Bay Area and What Can Be Done To Solve It, The Pros and Cons of Working with Corporate Investors and How Leading Their Teams Has Fundamentally Changed in a COVID World

    Assaf Wand is the Founder & CEO @ Hippo Insurance, with over $700M in funding Hippo are setting a new standard for home insurance and offer protection for what’s important to today’s homeowner.

    Nima Ghamsari is the Founder & CEO @ Blend, with over $665M in funding they are the digital platform streamlining the journey from application to close — for every banking product.

    Max Simkoff is the Founder & CEO at States Title, with $229M in funding States Title are using machine intelligence to create a vastly more simple and efficient closing experience for lenders, real estate professionals, and homebuyers.

    Brendan Wallace is a Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Fifth Wall, with over $1.3Bn in commitments and AUM across multiple different vehicles, they are the largest venture firm focused on the real estate industry and property technology for the Built World.

    In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

    1.) 3 of the largest and most successful founders in the financial real estate market, what have been their biggest learnings from their friendship over the last 5 years? What have been some of the most hotly debated topics they have had as a group? How did their opinions and views change as a result?

    2.) How do they think and feel about the tech exodus from Silicon Valley, temporary movement due to COVID or fundamental shift? How closely correlated is the move out of California with the explosion of liquidity from IPOs and acquisitions? What pisses Max off most about people leaving CA currently?

    3.) How have their roles as leaders changed in the time of COVID? What have been the most challenging elements? What have they had to embrace? What have they had to disregard or stop? What advice do they give to other founders scaling into hyper-growth in a remote format?

    4.) What do they believe is the fundraising strategy that allowed them to raise over $1.5Bn as a group? How do they think about what they look for in each stage of investors? How does it change when entering growth stages? How has their experience been having corporates play a large role in their financing? What are the biggest challenges of working with corporates? What does one need to do to extract the most value from them?

    Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode

    Max’s Favourite Book: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

    As always you can follow Harry and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here!

    Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

    • 44 min
    20VC: Wunderlist & Pitch Founder, Christian Reber on His Personal Relationship with Risk, Money, Whether the Sale to Microsoft was a Mistake, What Great Product Designs Means Today & Why Founders Investing External Capital is a Distraction

    20VC: Wunderlist & Pitch Founder, Christian Reber on His Personal Relationship with Risk, Money, Whether the Sale to Microsoft was a Mistake, What Great Product Designs Means Today & Why Founders Investing External Capital is a Distraction

    Christian Reber is the Founder & CEO of Pitch, the collaborative presentation software for modern teams. To date, Christian has raised over $52M for Pitch from some of the best in the business including Index, Thrive, Blueyard and then some amazing individuals including Instagram's Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, Zoom's Eric Yuan, Datadog's Olivier Pomerol and Tiny's Andrew Wilkinson. Prior to Pitch, Christian was the Founder @ Wunderlist, raising $35M from the likes of Sequoia and Atomico before being acquired by Microsoft.

    In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

    1.) How Christian Reber made his way into the world of startups? How that led to his founding te global phenomenon, Wunderlist? How his experience with Wunderlist led him to start Pitch most recently?

    2.) Does Christian regret selling Wunderlist to Microsoft? What was the reasoning and logic behind it? What does Christian believe Microsoft did wrong that resulted in Wunderlist no longer being in existence today? How did Christian deal with the personal depression post the sale of Wunderlist?

    3.) How does Christian assess and evaluate his personal relationship to risk? What does he do when making risky and large decisions to ensure he is comfortable? How does Christian feel about his relationship to money? How has it changed over time? How does Christian approach personal finance today between startup investing, fund investing, cash and savings?

    4.) How does Christian think about what great product design means today? How does he balance gut and instinct with granular data when making product decisions today? How has this changed over time? How has Christian structured his team to make the fastest and most efficient product decisions?

    5.) How would Christian reflect on his own style of board management? How has it changed over time? What element does he still to this day find most challenging? What board moment would he say is his most memorable? Who has been his favourite board member to work alongside?

    Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode

    Christian’s Favourite Book: The Unbanking Of America: How the New Middle Class Survives

    As always you can follow Harry and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here!

    Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

    • 36 min

Customer Reviews

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108 Ratings

ExamStudyExpert ,

Phenomenal advice for founders and start ups

An incredible line up of guests, skilfully interviewed to extract the secrets of success to building a high growth start up today.

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Fantastic

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Having listened to over 100 episodes now it is fair to say I am hooked.

Harry is a great host and the stories are consistently interesting.

Well edited, short snappy shows. A must listen.

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